Thursday, October 25, 2012

Safe Investing For Seniors

The Securities and Exchange Commission provides a webpage with a lot of information to help Seniors invest their money wisely.  This web page has links to information about what questions to ask when considering investments and how to avoid internet scams and affinity fraud. There is also information about investment products such as variable annuities, equity-linked CDs, promissory notes, callable CDs, ultra-short bond funds, and viatical settlements. In addition, they have published a pamphlet called "A Guide For Seniors: Protect Yourself Against Investment Fraud". You can access this pamphlet online here or pick up a print copy at your local Pasco County Library branch.

Want information about a particular investment opportunity?
You can investigate the investment and the investment firm with these resources:
  • You can find out whether the investment is registered by using the EDGAR database.
  • You can find information about an investment firm or a broker by using the FINRA BrokerCheck.
  • You can investigate investment adviser firms on the SEC website here.
For information about "free lunch investment seminars", click here for a previous blog post.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Medicare Open Enrollment Period Has Begun

 The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is October 15th through December 7, 2012. If you review your health care plan and prescription drug coverage, you can check to see if another plan could lower your costs. To find out if another plan would be better for you, you will need to gather some information. You will need a list of your medications and a list of your health care providers. If you would like one-on-one help with Medicare enrollment questions, you can get help from a SHINE volunteer.

 The SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) program provides free counseling to Seniors about Medicare, Medicaid, long-term care planning, and prescription assistance. The program is administered at the county level through the local "Area Agency on Aging" (other states also have this program - either in their Department of Aging or in their Department of Insurance).

This program trains volunteers to help older adults to get the information that they need to make informed decisions on health insurance issues. They provide information to elders, their caregivers, and their families.

To receive Medicare counseling in Pasco County, you can call 1-800-963-5337.  If you are interested in becoming a SHINE volunteer in Pasco County, please call the elder hotline at 1-800-963-5337.

The Area Agency on Aging of Pasco - Pinellas also provides many other services for seniors and caregivers. You can click on the picture below to access their website:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Long Term Care Information

The National Clearinghouse for Long Term Care Information defines long term care as "a range of services and supports you may need to meet your health or personal needs over a long period of time. Most long-term care is not medical care, but rather assistance with the basic personal tasks of everyday life ...." These tasks may include help with: bathing, dressing, eating, housework, or shopping. Nearly 70% of people age 65 and above need long term care. 
Medicare does not pay for long term care. As a result, it is important to plan ahead, because paying for long term care can be very expensive.The National Clearinghouse for Long Term Care provides a lot of information to help you plan for long term care. It also has links to organizations that can provide assistance to caregivers. Click here for more information.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The "United States of Aging" Survey

The National Council on Aging, UnitedHealthcare, and USA Today funded a survey which asked older adults questions about their outlook and their preparation for aging. This "United States of Aging" survey of 2,250 adults aged 60+ was conducted in May through June of 2012. Here are some of the key findings of the survey:
  •  64% of adults aged 60+ report that it is very or somewhat easy to pay their monthly living expenses now
  • 23% of seniors are either not confident in, or do not have, a financial plan for their retirement years.
  • 20% are still employed either full or part time.
  • 28% of Seniors say they serve as a caregiver for someone else.
  • 50% of Seniors have someone who is a caregiver for them.
  •  90% of Seniors intend to continue living in their current homes over the next five to 10 years.
You can access the full report here